Border officials order release of migrants to the streets in Cochise County due to capacity limits

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 9:57 PM MST
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BISBEE, Ariz. (13 News) - On Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ordered migrants who have been held in southern Arizona to be released to the streets due to overcapacity.

The Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels made the announcement over a Facebook post, saying in part: “Today’s announcement that CBP will begin migrant street releases into Cochise County is just another reflection of the fracture within the DHS infrastructure regarding the security of our southern border. These releases are a direct result of over-capacity by CBP which is forcing these migrant releases into our communities.”

Migrants who came from the Naco point of entry were brought to a Safeway in Bisbee. They had the option of either getting on a bus to Tucson or going off on their own. Those who chose the bus to Tucson were taken to the Casa Alitas center.

In Douglas, migrants were dropped off at the Douglas Welcome Center and were taken to a church while local leaders figured out housing.

Sheriff Dannels said his county has limited resources to help these migrants, leaving them vulnerable.

CBP responded to the releases by saying:

“CBP is working according to plan and as part of our standard processes to quickly decompress the areas along the southwest border and safely and efficiently screen and process migrants to place them in immigration enforcement proceedings consistent with our laws.”

Sheriff Dannels said Cochise County will continue with daily operations and remain vigilant in the “dedication to keep our communities safe.”

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